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"Unshackled" Trump attacks his own party

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With the “shackles” gone, Donald Trump has stepped up his fierce attack on his own party leaders, promising to teach Republicans who oppose him a lesson and fight for the US presidency “the way I want to”.

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“I’m just tired of non-support” from leaders of the Republican party, Trump told Fox News on Tuesday night, saving special ire for House Speaker Paul Ryan, who told Republicans on Monday that he’ll no longer campaign for Trump.

“I don’t want his support, I don’t care about his support,” Trump told the network.

With his campaign struggling, the businessman has reverted to the combative, divisive strategy that propelled him to victory in the GOP primary: attack every critic – including fellow Republicans.

Those close to Trump say it’s “open season” on every detractor, regardless of party.

“It is so nice that the shackles have been taken off me and I can now fight for America the way I want to,” Trump tweeting, bringing new concern, and in some cases panic, to a party trying to stave off an all-out civil war before November 8.

Another series of tweets, the Republican nominee called Ryan “weak and ineffective”, Senator John McCain “very foul-mouthed’” and “disloyal Republicans were far more difficult than Crooked Hillary.”

Trump declared: “They come at you from all sides” and “They don’t know how to win – I will teach them!”

With rage and verbal warfare flowing advance voting has begun in roughly half of US states. Polls suggest Trump is headed toward a loss of historic proportions if he doesn’t turn things around.

His scorched-earth approach comes days after his sexually predatory language on a 2005 tape triggered mass Republican defections and threatens to alienate more supporters.

“Fighting for the sake of fighting is not really very helpful,” said former Trump adviser Barry Bennett.

Trump is now trying to shift the blame for a possible defeat to Republican defections and a “rigged” election system.

His campaign is also still deciding whether to feature accusers of former US president Bill Clinton at upcoming rallies.

At least 40 Republican senators and congressmen have now revoked their support for Trump, with with nearly 30 of them urging him to quit altogether.

Ryan, in a Monday conference call with congressional Republicans, said he would no longer campaign with Trump, although he didn’t cut ties completely.

Trump’s running mate Mike Pence told NBC on Tuesday that he “respectfully” disagrees with Ryan.

AP

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